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Some 250 publishing staff, agents and authors have signed an open letter to the US publishing industry urging publishers not to sign any books by President Trump or members of his Administration. ‘No participant in an administration that caged children, performed involuntary surgeries on captive women, and scoffed at science as millions were infected with a deadly virus should be enriched by the almost rote largesse of a big book deal,’ the signatories say. ‘And no one who incited, suborned, instigated, or otherwise supported the January 6, 2021, coup attempt should have their philosophies remunerated and disseminated through our beloved publishing houses.
Signatories to the letter, which is entitled ‘No book deal for traitors’, include the writer Celeste Ng, author of Little Fires Everywhere, as well as executives at HarperCollins, Macmillan, Flatiron, Norton, Simon & Schuster, Hachette, Scholastic and Candlewick Press. Among agents signing are KT Literary, Erin Murphy and Veronica Park.
The letter has been put together by the American YA author Barry Lyga. It ends: ‘Laws exist to prevent criminals from benefiting financially from writing about their crimes. In that spirit, those who enabled, promulgated, and covered up crimes against the American people should not be enriched through the coffers of publishing.
We are writers, editors, journalists, agents, and professionals in multiple forms of publishing. We believe in the power of words and we are tired of the industry we love enriching the monsters among us, and we will do whatever is in our power to stop it.’